June 5, 2012

The Lanparte Follow Focus: Quick-Release and Hard Stops for Around $400

While you can find plenty of follow focuses online, some are hefty but fairly expensive while others are of a less-than-desirable build quality and rarely have the filmmaker in mind when they are being designed. This Lanparte follow focus caught my attention not just because of build quality, but also the price -- for around $400 (depending on where you buy it), you can get this model with hard stops and a handy quick release system that makes attaching and removing simple. Below is a video review of the follow focus.

Below is a review thanks to Cheesycam from LJ Lee:

While $400 is not a bargain basement price, I think for the design this actually does a great job competing with much higher priced items. It seems that this was designed to compete with the Arri MFF line of follow focuses, and even though those offer more features, they are 3-5 times the price of this one. If you're on a budget and you're looking to build a cine kit with your DSLR or Sony FS100 -- or even higher end camera -- this is a good option with hefty build quality, removable gears, a removable marking ring, and most of all, hard stops which are essential if you're using these with kit lenses or Nikon G or Canon L lenses which don't have built-in hard stops of their own.

You can find this device on eBay, or there are other various retailers selling them on the web. It doesn't seem like the Lanparte website is working at the moment, but you can certainly take a lot of information from the great review above. Links to buy the follow focus are below.

Links: Lanparte Follow Focus - eBay & Lanparte Follow Focus - Coollcd

[via Cheesycam]

Your Comment

19 Comments

For around 480 you can get a used redrock microfollowfocus v2 on amazon, which has been the standard around most dslr and lower end digital sets ive been around, and is what most places rent out

June 5, 2012

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john jeffreys

Right but that specific model does not have hard stops - you've got to spend twice the amount if you want the hard stops. That's why I thought this one was interesting.

June 5, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Thats true, it does have some high end features. I am in the market for a follow focus right now (sick of renting) and am really lost as to what to get, in the sub-700 dollar price range.

June 5, 2012

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john jeffreys

This kind of affordable (or in other words, cheap...) follow focus usually have almost unacceptable amount of backlash and inconsistent damping. Speaking from my experience, the one made by Movcam, the MF-2 follow focus is the best compared to others, note that this is the revised version which was just released on this year's NAB. It's quite similar to Arri MFF-2, For those audio guys, the Movcam one is like NTG3 when compared to Senheiser MKH416 :-P

June 5, 2012

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Marvin

I disagree with you here, Marvin. I bought the TRUSMT follow focus, and its nearly identical to this Lanparte model. I have been pretty happy with it: very smooth action, ZERO backlash, and good feel in the hand. The drawbacks: its HEAVY (I love the solid build quality but the use of steel in some parts seems a bit of overkill). While the hinge design makes setting it a snap, it unfortunately only has one locking pin for two hinge points, so after a little bit of use, or a fast pull, the follow focus gear can drift away from the lens gear and lose contact. Lastly, and this one is both a positive and negative, the gear ratio in the unit increases your focus throw; this is great for getting precise pulls on still lenses, but unfortunately negates the hard stops. You get more than 360 degrees of travel on the hand wheel, so you cannot set both the near focus hard stop and infiniti. Overall however, it does the job just fine, and though I intend to replace it with something a bit more reliable, it will still make a great backup.

June 5, 2012

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Scavoo

I agree the TRUSMT one is great, the issue with hinge can be solved easily, I got them to send me a solid pard to replace the hinge. It hasn't disconnected from the gears since and has no backlash at all.

June 5, 2012

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Moore

Well, no follow focus can achieve zero backlash, even Arri's ultra high end models have backlash. You are using stills lenses I assume? with cinelens or "semi" cinelens like Zeiss ZE/ZF.2, you will notice some backlash with varying degree on every follow focus.

June 5, 2012

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Marvin

I meant play, not backlash. My mistake.

June 5, 2012

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Alec Moore

I use the NF-4 from TrusMT as well and have been generally happy with it as well. I had some minor issues with the drifting as you mentioned but reversing the side of the arm-locking screw so that the rotation it towards the lens instead of away helped quite a bit, and I'm hoping my new revised pivots come from TrusMT pretty soon. They've been really decent about support so it's hard to knock the product that I otherwise have been 100% pleased with.

That said, when funds dictate I want to order a Letus follow focus since it has a flippable gearbox that'll reverse the direction of the drive wheel for Nikon glass (which is all I use). TrusMT may be releasing a model with a reversing gear so I hope that comes around first since $800 on a replacement part is a little hard to stomach for one single feature and some added reliability.

Anyhow, all the chinese stuff isn't crap. The Lanparte and TrusMT units are solid.

June 5, 2012

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Widescreen for reviews now? Funny.

June 5, 2012

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Thank you

June 6, 2012

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Chet

I actually have this follow focus and I absolutely love it. It is a solid unit. I did a lot of research before purchasing. I looked at many follow focuses because I wanted the most bang for my buck. I was a little weary only because i had never heard of Lamparte but I pulled the trigger. There is nothing cheap about it. Every point in the video is true. Very easy to put on and off your rig. Very easy to switch the gears. There customer service is awesome. A guy named Joshua helped me out with all my questions. This company has made a customer for life. I am now looking at some of their other camera accessories.

June 5, 2012

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Ah, you found my baby. I love this thing, definitely the best FF under 1K. This is coming from a background of large and small scale production from the godly Arri Studio to the ungodly attempts and low budget knock offs. I was never a fan of any of the the smaller market FF's including Zacuto which I have never worked a version that had acceptable backlash, last week I was on a feature where you could set the wheel spinning with one finger and it would spin seemingly without end. I like to feel where the lens is, get accustomed to the pitch and focal ranges by my attenuation to the wheel something I have had to push to the extreme with my 7D package that had play in the box, ring, and mount. I was excited about the Redrock Blue at under 1K, but while putting together my Scarlet package came across the LanParte and it seemed to have everything, robust molding, 15mm quick release, the wheel clamp is an enveloped pyramid like the one thing I did love about Zacuto, adjustable hard stops, and reversible gearing. When it arrived I was stunned, the play is non existent. The gearing is brilliantly molded around a single teethed gear shaft allowing it to lock down with smooth buttery fluid motion, with a small allen for adjusting wanted backlash. Plus it came with 2 adjustable gear ties, which to my stunned surprise actually work incredibly well considering the price of rings. I will say that since they went with such a robust gear box and gearing, that the box itself is larger than say Zacuto or even Redrock. Although at that price point really you adjust to the minor things while reveling in the modern age of affordable gear. I even found a chinese knock off 2 stage swing away matte-box for under $300 that is perfect for its price and functionality. There are always gonna be areas of your kit where you would rather put more money towards certain items while pull back on some not as prominent pieces. Thank god for the internet age and a worldwide plug to ideas and products, reviews and recommendations. While I love and implore to buy American, everything takes balance, perhaps these off market counterparts allow us to get some of the more expensive American offerings that take priority and that is a good thing. Per recommendation of an DIT friend I picked up some Global Media Pro batteries from London and saved nearly thousand that went toward a Samurai Kit purchased through B&H. Filmmaking has always been a global effort, personally I have always leaned towards Arri and Aaton, but currently am basking in the glory of a Cinema package under 25K pieced together with care from pieces around the world. Amazing!

June 5, 2012

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The Chinese are proving to be quick learners.
Just waiting to see when Kinefinity cameras hit.
No longer will we be enslaved to Arri.

June 7, 2012

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sammy

Looks like a good piece of kit. Love hard stops which is why I'm yet another who went TRUSMT. Build quality is excellent.

June 6, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

From 1:28 onward, the guy adjust the FF hard stop screw a couple of times, and then when he moves the FF knob, the whole thing keeps turning the same way as before. Isn't the whole idea of a hard stop FF is that it stops the turning of the focus ring HARD? What the video shows is not rack focusing, sorry.

June 7, 2012

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Jorge

I used some Lanparte stuff. Really in good qulity. The service from COOLLCD is great. They provide Lanparte products and many other item which is designed and produced by themself. So the price, especially the item they produced is in good price/performance. If you want to buy a lot of products at the same time, you could ask Hong to offer you some discount.

June 7, 2012

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Sure you don't work for CoolLCD?

June 12, 2012

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Mazz

Overpriced.

Chinese company LANPARTE sells the same FF in china for 45% less.
Picked it up on holidays in Hong Kong and sold it on ebay UK for hell of money (moron ebay bidders).
It is a design rip-off of western company (i think it was moviecam or arri?)

I switch to other brands with better price-servce-quality-ratio.

July 11, 2012

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Adamski W.